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Govt reassures on footy terror threat

AAP logoAAP 6/09/2016

Football fans shouldn't be worried about heading to finals games in coming weeks despite the threat of "lone wolf" terrorist attacks.

Federal counter-terrorism assistant minister Michael Keenan says while the security environment is worse than two years ago the nation's security agencies are prepared.

And a counter-terrorism expert is warning Australians not to succumb to the hype surrounding Islamic State's propaganda.

The extremist group has called for lone wolf attacks on various Australian suburbs and sites including Bondi, Brunswick, the MCG, SCG and the Sydney Opera House.

"Stab them, shoot them, poison them, and run them down with your vehicles. Kill them wherever you find them," its online newsletter Rumiyah published on Tuesday says.

Mr Keenan said police, intelligence agencies and governments had changed the way they did things in order to address the evolving terror threat and possibility of lone wolf attacks.

Authorities had the resources and extra power to deal with it, he said.

"We do take appropriate measures to make sure that any footy final, or any place where there'd be a lot of people gathering, does have appropriate protections," Mr Keenan told the Nine Network on Wednesday.

Deakin University counter-terrorism expert Greg Barton said Australians needed to put the IS propaganda into perspective, describing it as more a "hopeful Hail Mary gesture" than a real threat.

"If we had (intelligence of) internal communications that were mentioning places like Bankstown ... then you'd start to worry something was afoot," he told ABC radio.

"It's not a specific threat. It's not a game changer."

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who is attending a meeting of Southeast Asian leaders in Laos, said the IS call highlighted the necessity for strong regional co-operation on security.

"Sharing of intelligence is more important than ever before," he told reporters.

"But we do have to be very alert to the actions of these lone actors -- individuals who ... for a variety of reasons, may be radicalised."

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